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  • Writer's pictureJace Shoemaker-Galloway

Drive-In Movie Day

When it comes to holidays, today is all about nostalgia. June 6 commemorates a special anniversary in American history that celebrates a once popular past-time. Not only is today National Yo-Yo Day, but it is also Drive-In Movie Day.

Richard M. Hollingshead is credited as “inventing” the very first drive-in theater, which opened in Camden, New Jersey, on this day in 1933. While going to the movies today can cost an arm-and-a-leg, the cost of admission at a drive-in back was $1 for a carload of people. Yep - a buck! Movie night would never be the same again!

Those of us of a “certain age,” have fond memories of that nostalgic form of entertainment – movie night at the drive-in theater. Back in the day, families loaded up the car and headed over to the nearest drive-in for a night of cheap entertainment.Once you paid the entrance fee (some teens would actually hide in the trunk to avoid paying), pulled in to the perfect spot and placed that beat-up metal speaker in the car’s front window, you were good to go! A projector beamed the movie on the ginormous outdoor screen. You could watch the double-feature flick from the confines of your vehicle, on the hood, on a blanket or in a fold-up chair.

Outdoor theaters were also hot-spots for date night – although many of the couples didn’t see much of the movie! After all, what could be better than headin’ on over to the local drive-in with your favorite fella or gal for some cheap entertainment and a little make-out session in the back seat?

While bringing your own snacks were perfectly acceptable, you could also mosey on over to the on-site snack shack concession stand to pick up some candy, popcorn, soda, pizza or whatever else they were selling.

Of course, it had to be dark in order to watch a movie outside and bad weather meant bad news for moviegoers, but all-in-all, heading to the drive-in was the thing to do on a Friday or Saturday night.While a few of the iconic symbols still are in operation today, sadly most have closed. It’s estimated that there were over 4,000 drive-ins in the United States during their heyday.


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